does light affect night fishing?

Discussion in 'Channel Catfish' started by armyfisher, Nov 3, 2008.

  1. armyfisher

    armyfisher Member

    for the past couple of years all i've done is night fishing, with some pretty decent luck, but whenever i use a spot light to see what i'm reeling in it will either spook or turn the catfish into feeding mode. along with this post i'm throwing a picture of the 3 ponds i fish 70% of the time. I can tell you this there are some really big channel cats in there, but no matter what i throw their way i normally catch them in the 1-10lbs range. my fishing buddy (armyfisher2) had a nice one fighting for a little under and hour before it broke the line. Some more info about the ponds themselves is they are stocked 4 times a year with channel brown bullhead there are some crappie and a few bass. I mean theres cats in there judging from the size probally 15lbs.+ I've heard that light attracts baitfish and then the food chain follows, but like i said earlier its hit or miss. I dont use the spot light all the time. Just when i am reeling something in or to make sure no critters are sneaking up. Well i'm ya'll have any suggestions please let me know thanks brothers keep them lines wet and the live wells full.:smile2:

    Attached Files:

  2. Vonroc

    Vonroc New Member

    Central Ohio
    Fishing in central Ohio, in my smaller boat in the past I always had the lantern on and using a small head lamp to see fish as it got closer to the boat. In my 16 footer normally I'm not using the lantern but have my white anchor light on and also small head lamp. Bank fish always have lantern on. Honestly I don't see any difference. I've seen alot of posts here saying not to use a light, I don't see it causing any problem for me. I've also read where flat head fishermen use a spot light to deter the flats from returning back to cover during the fight I guess they move in the opposite direction of the light. So I guess the question would be, do you still catch fish where you're at when using a light? I see you live in GA possibly gators and snakes? If so I guess I would use a light to alert myself of danger near by. As for the uncatchable big boys- man don't give up, keep throwing the kitchen sink at them - they gotta eat too. I'm sure you're already changing your methods of presentation, deep / shallow/ different areas / bait - live, dead/ time of day. Don't give up - you will solve the riddle! More than likely once you figure it out you can adapt and use the productive technique elsewhere with success.

  3. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    I do alot of nightfishing during the summer and fall...and one tactic that is very successful for me is to use a green submersible light.

    I'll attach a 2 or 3 lb window weight to it...and depending on the depth of the water and where I'm my favorite spot I'll drop it over at about 10' deep initially.

    There is a drop off in about 25' of water...and I'll position right above that spot.

    It takes awhile...a matter of 15 min. or so...for the micro organisms and insects to show up...then the minnows show up close by the light itself picking off easy meals.

    Then the guests of honor show up shortly after that...the perch.

    They'll hang back away from the light a little further.

    Every once in'll see large dark shadows lurking below the fringes of the light...and occasionally a dark torpedo comes hauling a$$ through...picking off a perch or a larger minnow.

    I offer my bait at about 10' right below the fringe of the light...where the predators lurk under the cover of darkness.

    This will typically be a large shiner...or a 2-3" perch or sunfish.

    This will produce nice channel cats on a consistent basis...along with bass and walleye.

    A smaller offering will produce crappie...and at one particular 100 acre + pit I fish it is also stocked with rainbow and brown trout...along with channel, bass, walleye, and crappie.

    The sub lite technique is a killer there.

    Those trout come to the light like moths to a porch lite...and it's possible to get multiple browns and rainbows up to and in excess of 5 - 7 lb.

    Pretty fun on a slow night with an ultralite rig...or to collect the smaller trout for later use as channel cat cutbait.

    There's alot of variables to keep experimenting.

    One thing tho...I've always had more luck with the submersible lights rather than lights above the surface or the floating lights.

    And green seems to be the preferred color...and believe me...I've tried them all.
  4. Snagged2

    Snagged2 New Member

    Verde Valley AZ
    Thanks for this post, It makes sense to me..
    I also think, that unnatural light on shore or the bank has the opposite effect.. everytime I have a fire or lantern lit up, the bite slows WAY down,,
    I don't have a boat, but, have wanted to try the submersible lights!!
  5. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    You're absolutely right about unnatural light.

    The exception to that rule would be something like fixed light around docks, bridges, boat ramps, highways, and parking lots next to the water, ect.

    Lights that are always present like that are an established pattern...and they usually tend to be a softer light as well. (IE: flourescent)

    However...bright lights...such as a flood light...a spotlight...a halogen flashlite...or headlight are a different story.

    Especially if you consider that one tends to use such things in a very dark that is not accustomed to bright lights being present during the night.

    This spooks predator fish and bait alike...especially so in clearer water. In stained water...which filters light is not AS critical a factor. (Although there is still an un-natural and undesirable effect associated with overuse.)

    If you must use a bright light...try to aim it towards the bottome of the boat as you tie your knot or re-bait...rather than shining it over or beneath the surface of the water.

    The softer light of a lantern works pretty well...and I have not noticed it ever making a difference in the bite.

    A colored head preference is green or blue UV...doesn't seem to have an effect either...and the colored light doesn't draw insects as well. (Which is a HUGE bonus in these parts)

    I tend to think the fish react to the soft/colored submersible lights with first a certain degree of curiosity and wariness...and then as the baitfish gather up and chow on plankton...they overcome their apprehension as their predator instinct kicks in...and they capitalize on an easy meal of distracted baitfish.
  6. TheRiverRat

    TheRiverRat New Member

    well ive heard that light attracts baitfish wich means that the big dogs arent far behind :wink:....RAT
  7. Catcaller

    Catcaller New Member

    Oh...and by the way...a sub. lite can be used from the bank.

    Many times...rather than anchor...I'll tie up horizontal to the bank...and toss the light overboard at the edge of the weedline off the side of the boat.

    The same could be easily accomplished minus the boat...and it DOES still work...especially if the fish are feeding more towards the bank as many tend to do anyway.
  8. Kansas Tree Rat

    Kansas Tree Rat New Member

    Waverly, Kansas
    Brian thanks for the info on the sub lights, I don’t have any experience with them. When night fishing I use as little light as possible. Like it was said earlier, fixed light is OK but I strongly feel that a lantern on the bank will turn fish off. I have found this to be particularly true of Flatheads. At one of my best spots I have been doing good and had someone come down on the other side of the river with a lantern and it always turns the fish off. As soon as they leave the fish will start to feed again. I fish in the dark and only use a light to bait up and land fish.